Click-Through Rate: Everything You Want to Know and More

An in-depth guide that helps you to analyze, use, and understand click-through-rate to bring business value.

We’ll cover click-through-rate in any context, from UX to analytics to CRO and more.

Click-through-rate is a ubiquitous and somewhat understood metric. Of course, at the highest level, a click-through-rate is straightforward. It’s right in the name: how many people click through to reach a subsequent experience.

But beyond that – how click-through-rates are used, what good click-through-rates are, etc. – there’s a bit more doubt and misunderstanding.

Who is this guide for?

This handbook attempts to clear things up. It aims to arm analysts, marketers, advertisers, business owners, and anyone working in the digital space with the knowledge to understand, improve, and take action upon click through rates.

From the most basic definition of what a click-through-rate is to how it affects SEO and what your click-through-rate should be if you’re running Facebook or LinkedIn ads, or on AdWords, we’ll touch on everything. We’ll even go to the fundamental and important question of, “what can I do with this information?” in attempt to make click-through-rates more actionable for marketing professionals.

Whether you’re an SEO professional, conversion optimization specialist, UX designer, marketing analyst, or anyone else who works on a website and looks at data, you’ll get something from this guide. In any case, you can treat it like a reference guide to anything regarding click-through-rates and online marketing.

Table of Contents:

  • Click-Through-Rate Definition: What is “Click Through Rate”?
  • What is a Good Click-Through-Rate? Click-Through-Rate Benchmarks
  • Email Click-Through-Rates
  • PPC Click-Through-Rates
  • Does Click-Through-Rate Affect SEO?
  • Click-Through-Rate vs Conversion Rate
  • Conclusion

We’ll try to keep things concise in this guide. No fluff.

That said, we cover a lot, so try to use this handbook as a specific solution to your questions and problems. It’s not going to be a fun “passive read.” When you’re wondering about the SEO impact of click-through-rate, etc., look that up specifically.

About CXL

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We aim to reduce noise and dishonesty in the marketing world. While there are many more resources available to learn today, there are many more misleading or inaccurate sources. To put it bluntly, there’s a lot of BS out there.

Everything we do is under the direction of authenticity and the desire to solve the toughest business challenges.

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Click-Through-Rates: An Overview

Click-through-rates are metrics used in web analytics. Generally speaking, a click-through-rate is a calculated metrics that measures the ratio of users who click on a specific link to the total number of users who view the page, email, advertisement, etc.

It’s a fairly simple formula:

Simple though the calculation may be, click-through-rates factor into customer acquisition in a variety of ways. There are effects on organic traffic and SEO as well as Customer Acquisition Cost because most advertising models work on a cost per click model, where you pay when a user clicks your ad. Generally, ad networks give you a quality score as well which is heavily based on click-through-rate.

Therefore, people use click-through-rates as an indicator of success when it comes to marketing campaigns, whether SEO, email, or paid ads. Sometimes this is an accurate heuristic, but there are certain situations in which a high click-through-rate may not necessarily be a good thing.

A quick example might be if you were to send out a marketing email with a misleading subject line “free beer and bacon,” and upon clicking the email, users become disappointed at being misled. They don’t convert, and they trust you less.

Click-through-rates are highly variable across industries, companies, and campaigns as well. They’re highly contextual, so it takes an inquisitive analyst to make sense of them in their environment and to advise action based upon the numbers. This guide will help you make those decisions with regards to click-through-rate and SEO, PPC, email, and more.

Let’s get into the good stuff. Which section would you like to start with?

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